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Government's 'Pay to Stay' housing tax is rejected by Tower Hamlets council

PUBLISHED: 09:09 07 December 2016 | UPDATED: 21:32 08 December 2016

Tower Hamlets Council

Tower Hamlets Council

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The government's threatened 'Pay to Stay' rental housing tax charge has been rejected in London's deprived East End and won't be adopted by Tower Hamlets council.

Mayor John BiggsMayor John Biggs

The policy has hit widespread opposition which has now forced Downing Street to “water down” the plans to charge council tenants 15p for every additional £ a household earns over £40,000.

Instead, the tax is to be made a voluntary council charge—firmly rejected by Tower Hamlets’ mayor John Biggs.

“The ‘Pay to Stay’ proposals are little more than a Tory tax on council tenants,” he stormed. “The government should be focused on bringing private rents down to sensible levels instead of punishing those living in council housing.

“It’s unfair to punish council tenants who are improving their circumstances—this is a tax on aspiration and risks pushing families into poverty who are already struggling to make ends meet.”

He ruled out the charge which had “no place in the East End”. Tower Hamlets will not introduce it “as long as I am Mayor”.

The tax, councillors were warning this week, would mean a nurse or a paramedic living in the East End would face additional council rent payments if it was introduced, potentially “pushing households into poverty”.

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